Monday, March 19, 2012

Side Event on Food, Water and Energy Nexus: Why Mountains Matter? (26 March 2012 in New York)

Rio+ 20 conference is an important opportunity to look at the issues of sustainable development in a holistic and integrated manner. The theme of promoting green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty alleviation is closely related with the sustainable mountain development and the livelihood of the people who are dependent on them.  As we are faced with the challenges relating to the poverty alleviation of such a large number of people in the world on the one hand, and unsustainable patterns of consumption and production on the other, we see a growing trend of increasing stress on natural resources. We should look at how the specific geographical and other features of the planet and the people who are dependent upon and integrated with them can cope with these changes and pressures on a sustainable basis.  In that sense, mountains have special features, which need to be evaluated and supported in a comprehensive manner to promote a sustainable future for all.

Climate change, increasing natural disasters, food and energy crises, population growth, water scarcity and desertification, loss of biodiversity, degradation of ecosystems, migration, and rapid urbanization – the planet is currently facing a multitude of challenges. Mountain regions and their inhabitants are facing multiple challenges due to climate and socio-economic changes.

Mountains also offer significant opportunities and can provide local to global solutions. By providing key environmental goods and services such as freshwater supply, biodiversity wealth, clean energy and tourism destinations and cultural diversity, mountain ecosystems play a critical role in sustainable development of all. Mountain systems are essential building blocks for long-term sustainable development, poverty alleviation and the transition to a green economy. In a world heading towards water, food and energy crises, sustainable mountain development agenda is a global priority. Mountains as the water towers and natural and artificial storage of water and source of food production, energy, drinking water and sanitation in both upstream and downstream areas have assumed a global value. Almost 12 per cent of the global population lives on mountains and more than half of humanity rely on freshwater supplied by mountains. Critical ecosystems and biological diversity depend on critical environmental flow. The role of mountain ecosystems in promoting green economy in the context of reducing poverty needs to be recognized and given proper place in the global sustainable development agenda in the context of Rio+20.

Objective of the side event:
·         To share the perspectives of challenges and opportunities from the leaders, policy makers and experts from the mountainous countries and regions as well as the global institutions in the global platform and debate their relevance in the Rio+20 outcome,
·         To develop common understanding and views among the key stakeholders of the sustainable mountain development leading to more effective advocacy for mountains in Rio+20 Conference;
·         To contribute in defining a new Mountain Agenda embracing the global and regional changes and challenges looking ahead towards the next twenty years while reflecting on the outputs of the Kathmandu Conference on SMD and Green Economy (2011)  Lucerne World Mountain Conference (2011), and 1st Mountain Day (2011).

Programme Structure:

Opening Remarks by:  
H.E. Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, Ambassador PR of Nepal
Dr. David Molden, Director General of ICIMOD

Special Remarks by:    
H.E. Mr. Paul Seger, Ambassador PR of Switzerland
H.E. Mr. Cesare Maria Ragaglini, Ambassador PR of Italy
H.E. Mr. Tekeda Alemu, Ambassador PR of Ethiopia
H.E. Mr. Enrique Roman Morey, Ambassador PR of  Peru
H.E. Mr. Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator of Rio+ 20, UN 

Discussions and Interactions 

Closing Remarks by:    
Mr. Olman Serrano, Coordinator, Mountain Partnership Secretariat

United Nations NLB Building, New York
Monday, 26 March 2012, From 1315 to 1445 Hrs

Jointly organised by
Government of Nepal, ICIMOD, Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS)

·         H.E. Ambassador Gyan Chandra Acharya, Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations
·         Dr. Madhav Karki, DDG, ICIMOD
·         Mr. Olman Serrano, Coordinator Mountain Partnership
(please kindly write to for further details)

1 comment:

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